What people say about Color and Money-

"Anyone interested in the inequities of the selective college admissions process will find Color and Money clear-eyed, hard-hitting, enlightening, and informative."--Rachel Toor, author of Admissions Confidential: An Insider's Account of the Elite College Selection Process.
"For those concerned about why the march toward social justice in America has faltered badly for nearly forty years, Peter Schmidt's Color and Money is a highly instructive--and greatly disturbing--guidepost." --Richard Kluger, author of Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality.
"An indispensible guide to the debate over affirmative action in the United States."--Michael Lind, author of The Next American Nation.
"This book is a must read for anyone concerned with access to higher education, especially to the nation’s elite universities, as well as with larger questions of social policy and social justice."--Terry MacTaggart, Former Chancellor, University of Maine System
"Books on the highly-charged issue of affirmative action are usually one-sided and inflammatory. Peter Schmidt's Color and Money is a wonderful exception. It provides an honest and fair examination that is also passionate and illuminating."--Richard D. Kahlenberg, Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation, and author of The Remedy: Class, Race, and Affirmative Action

Peter Schmidt is available as a speaker

Peter Schmidt is available to speak at colleges, bookstores, schools, churches, and at gatherings of education associations. His past speaking engagements are listed at the bottom of this Web site. If interested in having him appear, e-mail him at schmidt_peter@msn.com. He also is available as an expert source for journalists covering affirmative action. Those on a tight deadline should email him at peter.schmidt@chronicle.com.

Hear interviews with Peter Schmidt

Jack Lessenberry of Michigan Public Radio talked to Peter Schmidt about Color and Money in August. You can hear the interview here. Reading the book inspired Jack to write an essay on it, which you can read here. You also can hear Peter Schmidt talk about his book on the NPR program Justice Talking and in a Chronicle of Higher Education podcast.

Color and Money Is a College Course!

Many college professors are now using Color and Money in their classes, but Jack Dougherty, the director of the educational studies program at Trinity College in Connecticut, has gone a big step beyond. He has decided to name a freshman seminar "Color and Money" and to structure the class around the book. He has graciously agreed to share his syllabus, available here, for faculty members at other colleges who may have the same idea.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New SAT results show growing racial gap, continued class disparities

The College Board has released data on the SAT scores of high schools' class of 2007. Its figures show that the gaps between the scores of black and white students widened and that there remains a strong correlation between SAT scores and family wealth. Moreover, students from wealthy backgrounds accounted for a larger share of test takers, while the share of test takers who came from middle-income groups declined. A Chronicle of Higher Education story on the College Board's numbers is available to its subscribers here. The College Board's press release and full report, complete with tables showing results by race, ethnicity, and family income, is available here at its Web site.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Federal civil-rights panel wades into law-school controversies

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is issuing a report today that wades into not just one, but two, heated controversies over affirmative action at law schools: the debate over the American Bar Association's requirement that such schools demonstrate a commitment to diversity, and UCLA law professor Richard Sander's fight to gain access to California state bar data to find out just how well affirmative-action admits fare in law school and life thereafter. The only place you will get the full story is here in The Chronicle of Higher Education. The commission's full report, "Affirmative Action in American Law Schools," is available here. A 2005 California bar association report showing that black graduates of law schools are about half as likely as whites to pass the bar on their first try is available here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Peter Schmidt in USA Today: "When Loving Parents Choose Segregation"

Peter Schmidt has an essay in USA Today suggesting that today's biggest obstacle to school integration is not overt racism, but parental love. You can read it here.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Report says many top Hispanic students choose a college based on proximity, not prestige

A new report by the nonprofit group Excelencia in Education says high-achieving Hispanic students often pay little attention to prestige in selecting a college, focusing instead on location, cost, and the atmosphere on campus. One result is that the 6 percent of American colleges classified by the federal government as "Hispanic-serving" educate almost half of all Hispanic undergraduates, with many of their students not consciously choosing a Hispanic-serving institution so much as simply seeking an affordable education at a college near their home. The report's authors say the good news is that Hispanic students are behaving pragmatically in choosing a college. The bad news is that they are missing out on opportunities to enroll in institutions that may help them get farther in life. A Chronicle of Higher Education story on the report is available here for regular subscribers and subscribers with temporary online passes. Additional resources on Hispanic education are listed on this Web site under supplemental readings for Chapter 3 of Color and Money.

Friday, August 3, 2007

When Black and Brown Don't Mix Well

The Aug. 2 issue of The Economist has an illuminating article on relations between blacks and Latinos in the U.S. Its bottom-line conclusion: The two populations are much less united than depicted by some civil-rights activists. The article notes that a survey of residents of Durham, N.C., "found that 59% of Latinos believed few or almost no blacks were hard-working, and a similar proportion reckoned few or almost none could be trusted." Fewer than 1 in 10 whites surveyed held such negative views. Another telling set of statistics: Blacks, who account for 9 percent of the population of Los Angeles County, account for 59 percent of hate crime victims there, and seven out of ten times the perpetrators are Latino. The full article is available here.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Is the Democratic Presidential Nomination Strictly an Ivy League Club?

The Phoenix of Boston has an article in yesterday's issue suggesting that John Edwards' lack of a Harvard or Yale degree is greatly hurting his chances of getting the Democratic presidential nomination. The article, by Steven Stark, notes that the last Democratic nominee who did not attend one of those institutions for either undergraduate or graduate school was Walter Mondale, back in 1984. The article asserts that "fundraising (particularly now that all serious candidates spurn public funding) and primary politics have been taken over by the well-educated elites for whom Harvard and Yale are the Holy Grails," and that "the elite press is now dominated by former classmates of the candidates" with prestigious Ivy League pedigrees. It says:

To these people, Edwards doesn’t pass muster. It’s not that he’s not smart — he clearly has an impressive intellect. It’s much more subtle and insidious: if there’s one unstated lesson these select schools teach you, regardless of how much money your family actually has, it’s how to act like a member of the upper class.

The full text of the article is available here.

One wrinkle that Stark missed is that, as discussed in Color and Money, Edwards harshly criticized legacy admissions preferences when he campaigned in 2004. Such a stand probably seemed downright threatening to some of those who earned degrees from elite institutions and hope to see their children follow their footsteps into their alma mater.